Farmers may also apply the new tank-mix combination by air as allowed under a Section 24c special local needs label recently approved by the state of Arkansas.

According to Bob Scott, Extension weed specialist with the University of Arkansas, a typical weed control program in Arkansas for the last couple of years included two herbicide applications. Growers typically will use a soil-applied herbicide, Command, pre-emergence and then come back with a postemergence herbicide right before flooding.

Applying Command by air has given growers some flexibility in weed control, and now adding Ricestar herbicide to that option can make it more attractive.

“There are several benefits to applying Command by air,” Scott says. “First of all, we get a lot of rain in Arkansas and growers may not be able to get a ground rig out to make applications of Command before emergence.

“In addition, being able to tank-mix grass products such as Ricestar with Command and applying it later by air does a couple of things for growers. It can delay the Command application for a couple more weeks into the season, which may make it possible to get by until flooding with a single application of Command plus Ricestar depending on the weeds you’ve got out there. The other thing it does is gives growers opportunities to pull levees following planting.”

As a result, Scott said, Command goes out on top of the levees. Growers get better levee weed control than they might with Command just applied pre-emerge prior to the levees being pulled.

“Applications of Ricestar and Command have performed well in South America,” says Sam Garris, technical service representative for Bayer. “We see a real potential for growers to have the flexibility of applying a one-shot grass control program a little later and getting good residual grass control right up to flood.”

According to Garris, Ricestar is a broad-spectrum grass herbicide that provides excellent weed control of tough-to-control grasses such as barnyardgrass, sprangletop, fall panicum and johnsongrass.

“It’s best applied to grasses at the 1- to 4-leaf stage. One other benefit is that Ricestar provides excellent crop safety,” says Garris.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com